New York, 17 October 2005 Press release

Austria to be a Member of the UN Economic and Social Council


New York, 17 October 2005 – The UN General Assembly today elected the 18 new members of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). From 1 January 2006, Austria will be represented on ECOSOC for a period of three years.

Within the group of Western European states, Austria, together with France, received most votes from the General Assembly. Germany, Spain, and Turkey were also elected from this group. In addition to the five representatives of the Western European states, the following members were elected: five states from the African group (Angola, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritania), three representatives from the Asian group (Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka), the Czech Republic as a representative of the Eastern European group, and four Latin American countries (Guyana, Haiti, Cuba, Paraguay).

ECOSOC comprises 54 members and coordinates the work of 14 Specialised Agencies and 10 Functional UN Commissions. It is a central discussion forum for international economic and social questions and draws up recommendations to UN bodies and member states. The main objectives of the work of ECOSOC are the improvement of the general standard of living, full employment, economic and social progress, and the joint solution of international economic, social, and health-related problems.

Shortly before the 50th anniversary of the Austrian accession to the United Nations, which will be celebrated in a special ceremony in December, the election to ECOSOC underlines Austria’s traditionally strong commitment within the framework of the UN. With its candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the period 2009-2010, Austria will continue to play an active role.